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D. J. Waldie

D. J. Waldie (2017)

D. J. Waldie is the author of "Holy Land: A Suburban Memoir" and "Where We Are Now: Notes from Los Angeles," among other books about the social history of Southern California. He is a contributing editor for the Los Angeles Times.

D. J. Waldie (2017)
Metro bus stop on a Los Angeles cityscape
Article
Artbound

Of Oil Fields, Neon Signs and Tree Shade: The Fires That Fuel Los Angeles

Essayist D.J. Waldie explores the legacy of the fire element on the landscape of Los Angeles.
 Oil rigs overlaid with images of foliage with a colorful filter.
Article
Artbound

Lost Hills and Wandering Cemeteries: The History of Land Beneath L.A.

Essayist D.J. Waldie digs into the story of the land beneath Los Angeles — earthworms, human remains, liquid gold and all.
 A wave-shape sweeps over a cityscape background.
Article
Artbound

It's Complicated: Water and Los Angeles

Essayist D.J. Waldie unfurls the complexities of water in Los Angeles, from trickles to torrents.
An illustration of ships, parrots, people on the beach rendered in an impressionistic style.
Article
Artbound

The Curiously Magical Air of Los Angeles

Essayist D.J. Waldie explores the beguiling and often contradictory qualities of air in Los Angeles.
Architect Robert V. Derrah remodeled the Coca-Cola Building, located at 1334 South Central Avenue, into a streamlined ocean liner in 1936 | National Park Service
Article
Lost LA

Fantastic! — L.A.’s Architecture of Dreams

The benign climate of Los Angeles, the excellent highways, the desire to escape into an alternate reality and the skills of Hollywood designers were material causes of our architecture of fakery, informing how donuts, ice cream and pianos were sold.
Illuminating Sunbeams in Santa Monica, California | Lynne Gilbert for Getty Images
Article
Lost LA

Different Dreamers: What It Means To Be a Californian Today

The optimistic essence of the California's golden dream endures — as it should — but the future of the state depends on Californians dreaming differently.
Round House, ca. 1885. While still the Garden of Paradise or soon after, the Old Round House veranda and porch were enclosed with siding, turning it into a 12-sided structure. Photograph courtesy of California Historical Society Collection, USC Libraries
Article
Lost LA

The Garden of Paradise: Los Angeles' Lost, Edenic Biergarten

In the 1850s-70s, an elaborately themed garden surrounded the town's most eccentric building, the Round House.
Semi-Tropical California Scenery: Fan-leaf palm (H. T. Payne & Company). Photograph courtesy of California State Library
Article
Lost LA

When Southern California Reinvented Itself as "Semi-Tropical"

L.A. once sold its climate as "semi-tropical" – a term that emphasized the uniqueness of its nature. Semi-tropical was semi-miraculous.
old_chinatown_cropped.jpeg
Article
Lost LA

Murder in Old Los Angeles

L.A. for a generation was extraordinarily violent, even more violent than frontier towns more famous in Western lore.
Guatemala Building. Strikingly colored and edged with stylized designs, the Guatemala building highlighted native textiles. Photograph courtesy of Security Pacific National Bank Collection, Los Angeles Public Library
Article
Lost LA

Flappers and Indians in the Dream City: The Jazz Age Ends in Long Beach

The Pacific Southwest Exposition embodied the spirit of 1920s Hollywood: spectacle for its own sake, cheerful vulgarity, and commercial hard sell.
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